I went out for a 5 mile run this morning - with my new super-deluxe Garmin Forerunner 305 (I feel like Harry Potter with his Nimbus 2000) AND my Nike + iPod. Here is the bad news: The Nike + said I ran 5.96 miles at a pace of 11:35 per mile. The Garmin said I ran 5 miles, at a pace of 13:46 per mile!!! Obviously I believe the Garmin. (When I was in my 30s, I race walked at a pace of just over 12 minutes per mile. I walked faster than I am currently running... oh well.)
So here is the good news: Had I known how very slow I am, I would never have trained to run a half-marathon. Never. So, the Nike + iPod served the purpose of encouraging me to train for this - even though I was delusional about my times. So, a week before the race, I am faced with the fact that I am slower than I thought I was when I was really worried about how slow I am. SO, (and I know I am a broken record, but please indulge me) I will just go out and have the best time I possibly can have, not as in pace, but as in a good time. This morning I ran into an old friend who is doing the same race, only he is doing the whole marathon. I told him of my concerns (is there a soul alive who hasn't heard my concerns?) and he was so sweet. He told me what many of you have said:
By being at the start line, I will be doing more than 99.9% of people. By getting across the finish line, I will have achieved my goal.
I am carrying around "Marathoning for Mortals" by John "The Penguin" Bingham, and reading and re-reading some of the motivational stuff...here is a quote from the book:
"By getting to the starting line, you've already placed yourself in the top echelon of athletes. You may not be in the top tier of that race, but as a long-distance athlete, you are fitter, better trained, and more disciplined than 99 percent of the population that has ever lived. Remind yourself of that when you start to obsess about your pace or finish time."
Thank you to all of you kind commenters. I really really appreciate you.